Update: The implementation date for the "look back" has been extended from July 1, 2021…
For the first time in 25 years experts in Alzheimer’s disease have proposed new guidelines regarding the criteria used for diagnosing the disease.
The new guidelines would allow special tests that use brain scans, biomarkers and other new technologies to clinically diagnose the disease even before any symptoms appear. These tests would replace the way Alzheimer’s is currently diagnosed, which is based solely on the detection of symptoms.
Experts are seeking to create three different stages of Alzheimer’s disease: pre-clinical; mild cognitive impairment; and dementia. These distinctions are being viewed as a major advancement in diagnosis because detecting the disease in its early stages will allow doctors to treat and monitor their patients as the disease develops.
The number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is expected to double, or even triple, under these new diagnostic guidelines; and some are concerned that efforts to diagnose the disease too early may lead to mistaken diagnoses. Despite such concerns, most Alzheimer’s experts agree that the guidelines are a great leap forward in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and many are optimistic that the new guidelines will likely move researchers closer to the discovering the cause of the disease. The guidelines are expected to be adopted this coming Fall.
Given these new developments, the need for long-term care planning will become even more important. In order to educate yourself on planning techniques designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses, call 1 (866) 524-1818, today to speak with an Elder Law attorney at Lamson and Cutner, P.C. and request our latest publication The Top Ten Elder Law Strategies for Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Families: Ten Absolutely Essential Principles for Preserving Quality-of-Life When Dealing with a Medical Diagnosis of Dementia. The attorneys at Lamson and Cutner, P.C., have significant experience planning for the long-term care needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and are available to provide their services immediately.